Oh John Carroll

Tag: technology (page 1 of 2)

All The Classic Symptoms →

Vatsal Thakkar has an interesting column in The New York Times about ADHD, tech devices and sleep:

Many theories are thrown around to explain the rise in the diagnosis and treatment of A.D.H.D. in children and adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 percent of school-age children have now received a diagnosis of the condition. I don’t doubt that many people do, in fact, have A.D.H.D.; I regularly diagnose and treat it in adults. But what if a substantial proportion of cases are really sleep disorders in disguise?

His Desktop →

George Saunders talks to The Guardian about the technology that he reluctantly uses, plus the stuff he never touches … Including stuff on his own desktop:

“InfanView” is an app that produces a list of all babies born in your area, ranks them for cuteness, and auto-sends each one a Facebook Friend request on your behalf. It’s good for building up one’s “fan base.” Ha. No – I think it’s “IrfanView”, and I honestly have no idea what the hell it is. I just went in and opened it and still have no idea. It’s a relic of something, but I don’t know what.

The Worst of Apple →

I like Apple products: they’re incredibly easy to use, and often make me wonder why I didn’t start using them sooner.  But I’m often baffled by their incompetence when it comes to handling “sensitive” material on their devices.  The latest incident is linked above, as an issue of the comic book Saga has been banned from being sold in all apps for portraying gay sex on some of its pages.

The broad policy is particularly batty given the popularity of Apple products with creative types.  This particular incident is also confusing because an app like Comixology, which is the most popular comics app on iOS, is rated 17+ for, among other things, “Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity.”

I’m not much of a comic book reader, but I’ve heard enough good things about Saga that I might go out and pick up a hard copy to support it.  In addition, people who use apps like Comixology can stiff Apple by making their purchases on the web, then syncing the books to their devices.

Speaking Of RSS

With all of this RSS talk, I should link to my feed location.  In fact, it’s now permanently located in the sidebar of this site.

It’s All Around You →

Brent Simmons on why you should care about RSS, even if you don’t know what it is or what it stands for:

RSS is plumbing. It’s used all over the place but you don’t notice it. Which is cool.

This is elegance. It derives from the design of the internet and the web and its many open standards — designed so that no entity can control it, so that it survives stupidity and greed when it appears.

RSS is largely misunderstood.  For example: any number of blogs that think limiting their feed will drive me to their web site.

In Defense of Daylight Savings Time →

Dr. Drang writes about Daylight Savings Time and how technology fails it and us:

I like Daylight Saving Time, and the advantages it brings more than make up for the slight disruption in my schedule. In fact, the most annoying thing to me about the DST changeovers is hearing people complain about them. The “lost hour of sleep” is especially rich. Who are these hothouse flowers who always get exactly the same amount of sleep except for that terrible day in March? To hear them talk, you’d think they never stay up late watching a movie or reading a book. Only prisoners have such regimented lives.

I agree, and I probably should have stayed off Twitter yesterday.

Etiquette Redefined →

Nick Bilton writes about contemporary etiquette for the New York Times blog Bits:

Some people are so rude. Really, who sends an e-mail or text message that just says “Thank you”? Who leaves a voice mail message when you don’t answer, rather than texting you? Who asks for a fact easily found on Google?

Interesting read, particularly when it comes to e-mail — I think the issue is related to the ways employment is linked to e-mail.  The inbox suddenly becomes a task list, not a mailbox.

Too Light, Too Thin →

John Siracusa writes about why we like technology products to be small, but dense:

Don’t get distracted by the details. I’m not arguing for or against a particular design. My point is that it’s important to keep making progress towards the next discontinuity, wherever it may be.

His Daughter’s Voice →

Max Apple writes for FT Magazine about his daughter and the technology that enables her to speak:

As a teacher, I use the word “voice” to suggest the individuality of a particular literary work. Voice encompasses vocabulary as well as rhythm and tone; a voice has a characteristic pattern of phrases and pauses. As you read this, you are in the presence of my voice, my attempt to line up words so that they might constitute meaning. As a writer I know what voice is; as a father I am constantly learning.

Max was my mentor in college, and it’s always a pleasure to read his work.  If you like this, I recommend you read his most recent story collection.

Ticket to Hide

Can I nerd it up and write about iOS some more?  OK, thanks.

I went to a Royals-Tigers game last night, which I may blog about tonight or tomorrow.  But I wanted to first write about how I got into the game: using a ticket in my iPhone’s Passbook.

I think this is an incredibly exciting feature — so exciting that I’m openly geeking out about it here.  Passbook is a new application that aims to be a pseudo-wallet for iPhone users, albeit without the cash or credit cards (…for now).  The application is rather bare at the moment, as it’s developer-driven — passes only exist if third parties create the passes for use.  Major League Baseball is an early adopter, enabling the tickets for a few ballparks in the US, including Kansas City’s Kaufmann Stadium.

I am terribly hung up on remembering tickets.  Even though I’ve only forgotten a ticket once in my life (the Virgin Music Free Festival in Maryland), I worry like someone who forgets things weekly.  When I buy tickets to an event, I set calendar reminders: to make sure I receive the tickets, to make sure I’ve packed the tickets, to make sure I see a different calendar item about the tickets.

I never have to set such reminders for a few basics in my life: my wallet, my keys and my phone.  I don’t want to carry tickets for a November concert in my wallet this next month.  But if I can carry those around in my phone, and not worry about them until I arrive at the venue (at which point my phone dings me!), I’m suddenly not just saving paper, but also a lot of (admittedly excessive and unnecessary) anxiety.

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